Alberto Chueca, FIDE Trainer & International Master 
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5 Ways to earn money playing chess

Everyone can make money, but not everyone makes money doing what they love. If you are a chess lover and decided to make a living out of that, congratulations!

That is a big step for you, it may seem a little bit hard, especially if you are not a titled player. However, hard doesn’t mean impossible, here we will tell you 5 ways to earn money playing chess.

Chess hustling

This is a good and fun way to earn money, if you think you have a good chess skill you should try out gambling. You can play blitz games for a little money, like 5$, and spend the afternoon there, see how it goes.

This is like a bounty hunter, but with chess, it doesn’t feel like work. Depending on the place you play you can get higher bets, of course, more skilled players, be prepared.

You are not the only one chess hustling, you will have to beat your opponents, and as you can win, you can lose too. It’s really exciting, I don’t recommend anyone tries to make a living with this, but you can have a little income in your free time.

You can even go to play in clubs, this is where the “pre-masters” play, so the challenge will be tough. But you can make even more money here, again, just by winning a chess game.

Chess hustlers can get around 100$ to 300$ in an afternoon if you play your cards correctly. Controlling the time, knowing your opponent, losing a game on purpose to make your opponent bet more and win, are part of the “tricks”. You can earn a lot playing chess on the streets.

Make chess lessons and coaching

earn money playing chess online

This is a more relaxed, less competitive way to earn some good money, but you obviously need to know about chess. Teaching chess can be pretty lucrative, of course, there is competition, make sure you stand out.

It’s not easy, you have to promote your service, get some people going, and continue getting good reviews, etcetera. If you do good you could take your business even further, and could create courses and content for the people to see.

I think the best option is to start coaching online because you can get the most public out of there, you earn money playing chess, technically. Of course, it’s better if you have a title or a certain level, but you don’t need anything to teach chess online.

The only thing you need is a method that works and results useful to people, a product the people are willing to pay for. You can get around 20$ to coach beginners per hour, and even a little more if you have a more elaborated method.

For advanced lectures and master classes you can have around 50$ to 100$ for an hour, of course, you need to have great skills to teach!

Play tournaments

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This is the higher level of chess hustling the bounty hunter of chess tournaments. Again, pretty exciting, but this time you don’t win by game, you will need a better effort to earn money playing chess in tournaments.

Usually, in chess tournaments, you encounter skilled people, and only the first places get the prize. This is why, unless you are Magnus Carlsen, you’d better not count on winning the prize to pay your taxes, or you could get in trouble.

These are the first steps into getting a chess title or getting enough prestige to participate in higher ranking tournaments, or presenting in chess clubs. A study says that only the top 50 best chess players of the world make enough money from chess to make it a living.

But it depends on a lot of factors, however, if you live in a country that is active with chess tournaments with juicy prizes that could change. There are hundreds of tournaments with prizes from 1.000 to 100.000$ prize range you can participate in.

Sell chess books or articles

earn money playing chess

Of course, buying and selling merch here and there is an interesting way to earn money playing chess. You can sell all kinds of chess supplies, like chessboards, books, and clocks. This is no different from any other work as a merchant, and it could involve some fun.

This could be a serious income, and you can buy products online and sell them in your locality. Or you could just simply buy and resell online too, but you need to hunt the best prices.

You can also, make your own books or your own products to sell, remember all kinds of talent can be sold. Some people make beautiful chessboards to sell, you can find some of these on Etsy.com. Also, you can create your own books, and organize your own material to sell too.

Another good way to make money is writing blog posts or giving your opinion about a certain topic and monetize. You can start your own blog posts about chess journaling or simply write about chess news you find around.

Chess streaming and video releasing

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You can create all kinds of content related to chess and upload it on the internet, for people to enjoy and learn. This is an interesting way to make money, a lot of people want to become YouTubers, it’s fun, but it requires hard work and effort as anything does.

This is not a short-term investment, growing on the internet takes time, plenty of time can pass without getting any income out of it. There is huge competition to rank, but it also depends on which platform you choose to create content. It takes longer to really earn money playing chess on YouTube or Twitch.

Twitch is the most famous of all of them, and you have to choose the one you can monetize better, or simply use various platforms simultaneously. And, of course, as any content creator, you need to have important stuff to share with people.

This could generate a lot of income, is difficult to calculate how much, this is something many people do, and is working for them. Why don’t you try it out?

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